Photo by JC Gotinga/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – At 8 in the evening on Sunday, March 15, Pasig became the first city in Metro Manila to enforce a nightly curfew in an effort to quell the novel coronavirus.
In Pasig, patrols were delegated to police community precincts (PCP), and at 9 pm, about a dozen policemen and barangay security officers made the rounds of Barangay Santolan to urge people to go home and stay indoors until 5 the next morning, when the curfew ends.
The curfew will last for a month, or until the threat from the coronavirus is abated.
Mayor Vico Sotto's instructions were to urge people to vacate the streets and remind them to practice "social distancing," which is to stay at least one meter apart from one another to avoid spreading or contracting the virus.
The goal, he said, was not to catch violators but to get people to safety – and at home is where they should be safest from the coronavirus.
Rappler joined the police patrol in Barangay Santolan, which began from Pasig's PCP 7 in Barangay Manggahan.
Why a curfew?
In this video, we give you the background of the curfew ordinance, as the police unit waits for their cue to begin the night's rounds.
How to get people to go inside?
When the police patrols entered the winding neighborhoods of Santolan, some people were caught unaware that a curfew had been declared. The cops told them – some gently, some rather sternly – to get off the streets and stay home until morning.
This first patrol turned out to be more of an information drive to tell people about the curfew. The police officers said people could expect them to be more strict in the coming nights. – Rappler.com
JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.